Regarding the comparative effectiveness of audio compared to video recordings in hairy man research, it does seem that audio is more successful. I think that this is simply because audio recordings are less intrusive on the senses of the hairy ones compared to anything light related.
We have found that audio recording is more successful for either of two reasons: (1) it is completely passive (undetectable) and covers a wide area when using well hidden digital recorders
, resulting in very surprising results, for example: viewtopic.php?f=45&t=3264
and (2) it is highly attractive when analogue recording is used because the motor noise gains their predatory attention
, for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8McBSdlIILY
The additional problem is that audio recordings should only be regarded as tools for the researcher, as they do not constitute good evidence because they are highly subjective. Do it anyway!
With film, digital still and video, there are common problems that centre upon the detection method and then the way that the target is illuminated. My main experience has been with antiquated film technologies. At the time, I used a wide range of home-made detection methods, mostly passive IR but also trip wires, trip netting and manual “seek and shoot” - which is clearly the most reliable method.
For illumination, I used multiple capacitance flashes and fixed floodlighting. The examples shown below are of an area at the edge of a swamp where both were used simultaneously. The problem with this method is the need to run power over long distances and the extensive time required to set up. Long term set ups like this are not very effective as light is a repellant
and the detection perimeter is quickly determined and learnt after only a few probing approaches. Success is limited to a lucky “one off chance”. Seek and shoot is clearly the superior method but few have the rare opportunity to use this approach?
Daytime shot of the targeted area: note height of camera in the treetops to minimise detection; the established track is clearly visible snaking through the bush in this daytime view; the upended glass on the scribbly gum on the left of view and the inflated wine cask bladder, right of centre. These were placed at the request of the Police, in the futile attempt to obtain "hermit fingerprints".
Night shot of same area: note possible eye shine in top left sector? Some other noise from digitally scanning the film negative
Another frame in the sequence using the motor drive.
Another frame in the sequence.
Frame not showing possible eye shine missing.
This, I believe, shows the perimeter of the PIR field being tested - as possibly
being shown by the appearance/disappearance of the red eye at the limit of the detection field? Once the light comes on for the first time, the game has concluded. All subsequent photo frames are simply probes of the field.
Interestingly, the wine bladder was punctured and deflated by two holes at a separation of about 66 mm sometime after the camera and lights had been removed. Confident that something had interfered with the glass and plastic bladder, the Police finally decided that they "wouldn't dust for prints".
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a = 32 mm; b = 50.4 mm; c > 66.67 mm and < 68.11 mm IPD. From film neg degree separation 0.25˚ to 0.3˚ @ 13500 mm = IPD > 58.9 mm and < 70.7 mm. Mean IPD from average of both methods = 66.1 mm. Max pupil dilation ≈ 30 mm. Eye height ≈ 1850 mm.